Objective—To determine whether feeding activated
charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate would
ameliorate the frequency and odor characteristics of
flatulence in dogs.
Design—In vitro screening of active agents followed
by a randomized controlled trial.
Animals—8 adult dogs.
Procedure—A fecal fermentation system was used
to assess the effects of activated charcoal, Yucca
schidigera, and zinc acetate alone and in combination
on total gas production and production of hydrogen
sulfide, the primary determinant of flatus malodor in
dogs. All 3 agents were subsequently incorporated
into edible treats that were fed 30 minutes after the
dogs ate their daily rations, and the number, frequency,
and odor characteristics of flatulence were measured
for 5 hours, using a device that sampled rectal
gases and monitored hydrogen sulfide concentrations.
Results—Total gas production and number and frequency of flatulence episodes were unaffected by any
of the agents. Production of hydrogen sulfide in vitro
was significantly reduced by charcoal, Yucca schidigera,
and zinc acetate by 71, 38, and 58%, respectively,
and was reduced by 86% by the combination of
the 3 agents. Consumption of the 3 agents was associated
with a significant decrease (86%) in the percentage
of flatulence episodes with bad or unbearable
odor and a proportional increase in the percentage
of episodes of no or only slightly noticeable odor.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and
zinc acetate reduce malodor of flatus in dogs by altering
the production or availability of hydrogen sulfide in
the large intestine. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: